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Gautam Mukunda Education. (2012) 'Indispensable When Leaders Really Matter.'

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United States 19, Wilson 12, France 7, Us 6, Chicago 5, Illinois 5, New York 5, Louisiana 5, Princeton 4, Abraham Lincoln 4, Willson 4, Sioux 3, Davis 3, Jefferson 3, Paris 3, Unfiltered 3, Napoleon 3, America 2, Thomas Jefferson 2, Obama 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV After Words    Gautam Mukunda  Education.  (2012)  
   'Indispensable When Leaders Really Matter.'  

    November 26, 2012
    12:00 - 1:00am EST  

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>> host: professor, we are here to talk about your book indispensable. this is a delightful book to read. you deal with familiar figures but you found in do things to say about them and attack them from new angles. you have an epigraph a quotation attributed to different people most often charles de gaulle, the graveyards this fall -- what
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does that mean? >> appropriately people call themselves indispensable and they can't be because they die. and all men do. but it is the major one that they thought the world would end when they did. . .
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or social science predates what the idea. but if you go back, the idea that social forces. the people were there. they died of a heart attack what happened, the stuff that really mattered would have ended up about the same. so he makes this argument with me but in the essay he barely mentions napoleon. it's not about him at all. it's about the contract.
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so this essentially has become history or political science without proper nouns. people leave alt be on the other hand, carl leal takes the most extreme opposition and says that history is nothing but biographies of great men and this is character as a great man in history as one person after another after another and when i thought these are incompatible people you can't get further apart in your view but both arguments make sense. the social scientists are the people with the tradition of not just marks but most social scientists. there are three reasons why leaders don't actually matter that much. the leader of any organization faces external constraints of you are the ceo of the company you can't set your price at whatever you want. they have internal constraints, the tradition and culture and
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all the things that happen inside of the country, so you can't do whatever you want. most importantly the leaders are not chosen randomly. most leaders are powerful organizations. organizations that really do have the ability to shape history. they are picked because the organization is looking for someone with a set of characteristics. >> host: and you call that the leadership filtration process. >> guest: that's right. i think every organization has a process because very few if any organizations are going to pick people randomly. companies, even i think if you look at the right way even the sciences which aren't an organization that all the stuff of a filtration process. so yes, countries -- if we look at the most recent presidential election in the united states, there was something if he went through the republican primaries people were saying let's not this person. it's not tim pawlenty dropshot right after the audio what caucuses and then michele bachman dropshot and new
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gingrich can you are left with a sort of one person left standing. it's not about picking a winner. it's about picking losers. this is not the person, this is not the person. and finally you get the last person standing. the process of elimination. >> host: which is consistent in better organization it tends to be. >> it is a simplified version of reality that i think you used to build the theories that are simple and then you make them more complex but if you take say gee so they're famous for the way they choose leaders. we always tell our students g is a company that works in practice but not in theory. it doesn't seem to do any of the things that we say it should do but it is successful. and if you have the competency, it seems to be that it's good at picking leaders committed the living and training managers.
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so she spent ten years of lifting of the people when the organization and promoting them and evaluating them over and over again. so at the end of the day you have to work your way out. at the end of the day you get five finalists let's say and they pick one person but it should think two things about them. the first one is what they are all probably very good at their job because they made it all the way to the top. they made it all the way to the top of a company that's been successful for 100 years. so they are pretty close to what she is looking for and there is one thing you can be sure they are looking for. but the other thing you should probably read about that for the same reason is that it doesn't really matter which one of them is picked. from the perspective say of a g shareholder. there are five people that made their way to the top. how different could they possibly be? they passed through this patrician process.
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>> and you have a name for the leaders that emerge in that way. what is that? >> guest: it's this idea that there are many people who could become the leader that if you could rewrite history a million times you wouldn't get the same person over and over again you get random factors. george w. bush becomes the president of the united states at least in part because of the weather in the florida panhandle. i can't think of any more random. if you run history a million times they would make people win differently cui hodes you would get george w. bush 400,000 times and al gore 400,000 times and john mccain 100,000 times. people that are at the center of the distribution, people that are likely to win, people that have been thoroughly evaluated and filtered by the process. another way with filtered
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leaders they are very similar. they have a lot in common with each other. but if you can get power in bypassing the process of something happens so that the filtration process isn't able to thoroughly evaluate you in the dalia vision process recognizing that you are not what it is looking for for whatever reason and stopped you from getting power boats can be in the end of the distribution of people that might gain power. >> host: these people are not stopped even though the back is stacked. >> guest: sometimes it might not be stacked against them to the evaluation process can't be triggered if you inherit the control of your company you are inheriting said the evaluation never kicks in. >> host: we have in the leadership patrician process in lot of leaders and then sometimes we have the extreme
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leaders. you have two sets of leaders that you look at in great detail. one of them is the president of the united states and the other is the prime ministers of britain since 1832 bhatia dearth. let's start with the presidents. why did you pick the presidency as a case study? >> there were a bunch of reasons. one is importance. i think a part of our job, and academic and it's to ask questions that matter that have an impact so we can describe the president of the united states as the most powerful person in the world. i think that is true, that is a fair description. so, surely if i can do something to contribute to our understanding of how we pick these people and how we can pick them better that is a great idea. so i think it's sort of an
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obligation to look at important issues that matter. but beyond that it is a test case for a bunch of reasons. one is just data. they carefully chronicled you can get information about every person the memos they wrote to each other i think you should do this, i think we should do this. so i can see if it wasn't abraham lincoln who is likely to become president in 1860 and i can get an answer to that question that is pretty solid but it almost certainly would have been william henry seward who was the secretary of the united states and then i can go back and look intimately as to what he wanted to do and what was actually done so i can get a good proxy for what might have happened if he had gotten the job and measure what the impact was. if you are thinking about the
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individual impacted don't think it makes any sense to say this person is here and the decision is made therefore it is about them. if anybody would have made that similar decision it isn't about them. december 8, 1941, franklin roosevelt are we going to declare war on japan or not but we would definitely declare. >> host: no conceivable american politician wouldn't declare the war. that is exactly right. >> host: do paper together attention to the president's, thomas jefferson, abraham lincoln and woodrow wilson so let's do them in chronological order is the model president or extreme president? singh accused of deadly a modal president and the way i did you should judge that is how thoroughly with the value we did before they begin power.
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if someone was very -- if someone that had the ability to influence whether or not they would get the job, new everything about them, then these people have the ability to recognize this person is not what we want or this person is what we want and so if you look at jefferson's career, jefferson had been the governor of virginia coming ambassador of france from secretary of state, vice president of the united states, member of the continental congress and the declaration of independence it's possible that very few people had ever been the value we did were inspected as closely as thomas jefferson was before he became the president of the united states. so people were looking at him and saying this is not what we want. this is the person that should be president. >> this is the guy we don't want because it is a very close election. as bennett was a very strange election. he led had a lot of enemies. but i guess what you are saying
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is both of the supporters and the opponent's knew who they were talking about. >> guest: especially when they become ideologically homogenous and to a certain extent they were to read any democrat is good to be different from any federalist. if you're measuring individual leader impact you shouldn't measure the democrat, you should measure against the democrat who would have them there if that democrat hadn't had the job. >> host: even if he were run over by a carriage and killed and some other member of his party would have contested that the of a member is james madison and we should say okay somebody that looked at jefferson we want to baseline jefferson again as what would he have done in his shoes and a likely alternative and he had been through the filter and was likely to be a model candidate.
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if the dice have ruled differently maybe john adams it's the presidency so he should probably just take a glance and see what he would have done the the important question is jefferson versus madison. so jefferson is incredibly thoroughly evaluated and the election is exciting and in some ways the most exciting election in our history because jefferson -- the idea of random things matter and this is why the argument is unconvincing to me. if he becomes president of the united states it is hard to imagine but he doesn't because in large part people realize aaron burr isn't somebody they want near the white house and so jefferson -- the question is how much does it matter. if you look at the jefferson administration, they are overwhelming on this the most
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important event in the administration was the louisiana purchase. that isn't surprising. if you double the size of the country peacefully and almost no cost, this is an enormous achievement for any president. any president would want them on their resume. so is jefferson high impact president? if jefferson hadn't been there with the louisiana purchase have in any way? so if you look there what you see is jefferson sent an emissary to france to buy the louisiana territory from france except he didn't. he sent an emissary to by the city of new orleans from france. the louisiana territory as a whole wasn't mentioned by anyone in the united states as even a possibility so he lands in france and starts traveling towards paris and before he even arrives in paris, the american ambassador who is already there
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is napoleon's foreign minister and he says essentially how would you like to buy the entire territory? it's not surprising he said yes let's do this. they negotiate, complete the negotiation, they are -- i'm sorry, james monroe so who would become madison secretary of state and would then become madison's successor as president so we have in the room a bunch of people who would almost be president, or almost president so monroe and nixon complete these evaluations and they are not difficult. the french really want to sell and they want the cash. >> host: and louisiana they decided -- >> guest: napoleon things one way or the other. they are too to protect it. he says amazingly with a sort of foresight that gives him some reputation for the genius of the
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intellectual ability from a century from now that might make it so possible no one can stand up to them. so they take the purchase back to the news arrives in boston and its federalist territory, the opposition for the administration. the opposition but surely wanted to deprive him from any such triumphed and the way they signaled their opposition as they set off a fireworks display. so this wasn't a controversy will thing in american politics. american politicians really enthusiastic about this. when we get to washington and the senate starts to debate whether the ratification of the treaty and the only major obstacle but then arises is jefferson himself stripped construction and the federal government and led him to believe that the federal government didn't have the power to acquire territory. and he starts to say what we
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need in the government to give its power. now napoleon back in france is a man that had overthrown. he wasn't exactly likely to be -- >> host: institutionalized. >> guest: that is exactly right. he starts making noises saying i will just remote the treaty. it's not ratified yet. so then madison, an alternative, comes to jefferson -- >> host: the secretary of state. >> guest: that's right his closest friend, in the room for negotiation. jefferson can't do this anymore. you have to agree. it's a big opportunity to look your strict view of the federal government. and he agrees and backs out. jefferson has a great deal of skill. he chose monroe, the right person. he gets it through the senate successfully. he displays skill and flexibility.
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>> host: think about flexibility because he is unwilling to override -- >> guest: this is a big opportunity to let the constructionist view of the government stop us from getting it. we have to get this land, and they do. siskel and flexibility are things on a whole that we would like for the president but you shouldn't be surprised someone with jefferson's record has stolen the flexibility to read think of all the things he did if he didn't have those two things. the process and that long record would have seen it and would have blocked him from getting power. the question is again being a low impact leader isn't about the lead to a bad thing. it is to fail. there are so many more ways to fail than to succeed. so, most leaders. host could you make the point not only was jefferson seeing eye to eye with livingston, monroe, his eyes and paris and the secretary of state, but major federalist enemies also.
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not all of them the the major ones. >> guest: john adams was on record, not publicly but privately saying he was in favor of the purchase and john quincy adams' broke ranks with the federalist to vote in favor of the purchase. it's hard to imagine quincy adams doing that without the approval of his father. so, as we see in the modern politics the major incentive was to deny him social triumph. >> host: so this is an example of jefferson as a model leader but everybody else who might have been in his shoes would have done the same thing presented with this opportunity. >> guest: anyone that wouldn't have grabbed it wouldn't have made it. >> host: let's go to the second president abraham lincoln
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modal or extreme? >> guest: extreme. so lincoln is as unfiltered as almost anyone in american history. the story of the election is a story of such excitement and random defense that it's almost impossible to capture. we could go on for hours on just this topic but his record in american politics is extraordinarily brief. he has a term in congress at the end of which he is so unpopular he doesn't run for reelection. the thing the state legislature doesn't tell you anything about your ability to be president and he hadn't even been in the state's legislature for quite awhile before he runs a 1960. he's run for the senate twice and he's been defeated both times. basically he's a national celebrity because of the dates with douglas which at the end of the day he lost and the speech in new york nobody was scoring the debate. at the end of the day the purpose of the the date was to win the election and he didn't win the election. and a speech he gave in new york to lead the way i like to think about is we can remember barack obama's speech in 2004 in the
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democratic national convention that makes him a national figure in four years later without that speech he isn't a candidate so lincoln gives a speech in new york where it is a beautiful testament to the quality of lincoln's mind in the research he does. it's a fantastic speech. but when he ran for the senate, when barack obama gave a speech in 2004 he was running for the senate in illinois and he won. abraham lincoln ran for the senate in illinois and he lost. you think about abraham lincoln in 1860 think about barack obama running for the presidency in 2008 if he had lost, not if he had won it. that is the level of the national security that we are talking about to read the republican national committee votes for the election and the town's 60. lincoln is from illinois.
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huge home town advantage but the reason the committee put it in chicago by one vote, they voted to put it in chicago by one vote it could've been in misery because no candidates were from illinois of it was neutral territory. >> host: so you were not worried because he wasn't a player. >> guest: they were published by major newspapers in the major candidates republican convention and quite often he wasn't even on the list. >> host: tell us about the two front runners. >> guest: so william henry seward would become the secretary of state and the governor of ohio. >> host: >> guest: he is a term senator from new york. the biggest powerful state like california at the day and he's
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the founding father of the republican party this is the second election they've ever participated in. he is the dominant figure in the republican party. it's a sort of he is more significant than any other figures in the party combined. another alternative is the man that is responsible for the republican party in ohio and much of the with midwest and the big states. perhaps one of america's most famous antislavery advocates famous as a radical abolitionist he didn't start out that way but at this point he was. they are not radical he was generally perceived to be that way because of the speeches that were viewed to read because lincoln didn't have a record he could convince them they were portraying themselves as the least radical who then owned up
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to the rights so they go in and sewer doesn't just have the it feige of being the dominant republican and the governor from new york. he also [inaudible] >> it's marvelous. it perfectly portrays the inaki valley in nature. it's the finest political operative in the mid-19th century america has to offer. he goes through this connection and he has the financial resources when the days went under the tail to involve cash. anything else you can imagine. >> host: that doesn't happen. >> guest: of course not, never. he's been to many conventions and he's dominated them and in fact sioux word wasn't the republican nominee in 1856 because they told him there's no
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way we are winning you don't want to be the winner of the losing cause let's wait for years when we are going to win. he read the politics exactly right read the campaign manager david davis just to put this in perspective he's never even been in the republican national convention, so you have the best in the business against a guy that had never been to the convention and davis goes and and he knows it is in the midwest and because of all these things he also knows that chase is going to have the ohio delegates on the first ballot only. the first ballot only pity the means there will be dealing and
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negotiating in every conceivable type. so, davis goes there and as a few things. >> host: let's wrap this up because we are coming to a break. but set the stage and then we will come back and find out who wins. >> guest: he takes the ultimate if you want to think how random they can get he realizes the seating arrangement at the republican national committee is going to play a crucial role in determining the nomination for the republicans and the next president of the united states. >> host: okay we will be back after a brief break.
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>> host: we left ourselves at the chicago convention and 1860's and we are talking about lincoln as an extreme leader as an unfiltered leader coming out of left field and you set the scene on his obscurity but he has some advantages so tell us what effect this has as the convention plays out. >> guest: his team is able to recruit supporters of cross illinois and the way they recruit them is their testing them on how weld their voices are and they bring them into chicago on discounted tickets since he was a real return he could arrange that and the print fake tickets for the convention and a stack the rafters with these lincoln supporters so every time his name is mentioned the supporters start yelling and screaming and shouting their support so much that the windows of the hall at cliche in
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response and this makes the connection again. so davis, lincoln's campaign manager goes to the seating arrangement in this is and what the new york delegation to be surrounded on all sides by the other strong states. so he knows it is going to be such as new that no one is krin to hear themselves think much less than talk to each other at a distance. so when the negotiations have to start, he's been to be physically blocked off from getting the states that he needs to swing in the swing states that can go to anybody. the most important is pennsylvania. pennsylvania is also a big state that has the ability over the top or to put clinton on the first in the swing the momentum in his way. simon cameron controls the delegates. he is a man that eventually in
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the civil war became his first secretary of war that in other member of the cabinet publicly stated that he would feel anything except a red-hot stove. when he demanded an apology and lincoln reluctantly forced, apologizing. so he sends a message over the telegram and at that time candidates do not attend the convention. he sprang in springfield and seward is back in albany and new york. the telegram says make no deals that will bind me. davis gets the message and says essentially lincoln isn't here. we will do what ever we need to do and go back of the end of the day. he goes to cameron and he says swing to lincoln and i will make sure he will get a major cabinet
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position. karen says okay and lincoln captures the nomination. in a sense this is the election. at this point the democratic party has split between northern democrats and southern democrats. neither have actually chosen the candidate with lincoln's old adversary and it doesn't happen. the party means they will win the election so the republicans know they're picking a president in history and a one-term congressman over to term governor and senator with international reputation. there are consequences for choosing such an extreme person in a situation like. and they are not necessarily all good petraeus connect no.
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senate. tell us about how this plays out with lincoln. >> guest: if you are going to pick a president for a crisis in place of war. one thing you don't want is a psychological problem but lincoln i think the evidence is overwhelming he suffered a lifelong. at least twice he's been put on suicide watch by friends who've removed all chabad objects from his room and kept with him 24 hours a day. when you think about what it was light to be put its the how debilitating his depression actually was. it's quite probable that at least one during that time and the presidency has struck by. as of this depression was a problem in some sense that he was able to triumph and continue
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without any therapies and become a successful president. in some ways it made a bit of an advantage. psychologists have a freeze for people who are able to assess the prospects and the chances for success and endeavor. we are all optimistic. we overestimate our chances. this idea of realism, the people that are - we depressed, not just so severe but there are actually better able to tackle and a strike the course of the war to understand when they were taking. >> host: does it make him in public about the war? >> guest: he is so deep and so profound that i don't think any one source -- we can't attribute it to one source. even as a man, he was noted by
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other children in the west but the west knows these are rough and tough times as someone m. able to see in amol being born and to stand up for the ball lead on a continuum routine basis. so i suspect that might have had a link to his at the but it's so inextricably wound in every part of the character that this or that -- it can't be understood it's almost foundational and our understanding of that. >> host: as we all know from reading doris kerns goodwin spoke she picks the main rival gets the most important job, secretary of state. how -- the mo leaders you were just talking about jefferson, she was like anybody else that could have been in his shoes.
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everyone have grant, louisiana so lincoln is extreme. what does he do that his peers wouldn't have? >> guest: they are filled with things he could adopt. at the end of the day i don't think he's a genius on multiple levels and fields and the country is lucky if it gets someone like that and we got that, and we needed it. the best way to look at this is to look at the first decisions because then we don't see these consequences over the administration and for my purpose lincoln's trace as the secretary of state is the best possible choice because it permeates the national experiment. i know what lincoln did the and i can go in and see what he wanted to do because he's telling him what he wants to do.
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>> host: he's always been consulted. >> guest: he is in many ways still the dominant republican in the country. in those days even chicago it's the big city but it doesn't have the problems of new york or philadelphia. in his view he has it from nowhere in the white house who is incapable of doing the job that he should have had and sioux word is completely free telling you you should do what i tell you to do and in fact he explicitly does this. the crisis for the presidency starts to revolt the comfort sumter so fort sumter is besieged by the members of the militia and held by federal troops and essentially the crisis comes down to what should we do? >> guest: since sumter is one of the last two federal territories, the only one that's
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really important, sosa word's position he doesn't think they're serious about the session and of the multiple sessions in the past. he says they don't mean that they have this fever. if we just let them go, six months from now they will come back. he says let's just let them have sumpter. the pull the troops and everything will be fine. then he says everything is and find we should start a war with spain or france winnable rival everyone to the flag, the self comes because everyone wants to be that on the europeans and then we will be unified again. he tells the investors for frame or stance this is his intention on multiple occasions so the question is what did lincoln want to do and he doesn't think of himself, he has a problem no one doesn't unify behind the war
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effort only be a third of northerners 1258 war. one-third are enthusiastic about the secession and then we don't have to deal with anyone. then about a third others don't hear. this is going to be a bad war seĆ³ul lincoln does something very clever. some people in the cabinet want to send an armed expedition to reinforce sumter. some people want to sneak the troops in to reinforce and he just wants to give up. lincoln doesn't do any of those things. he was an analysis publicly that he's going to send an expedition to supply sumpter but it's only going to have food. no weapons or ammunition, just food. by doing this he is forcing the decision into the hands of sumpter.
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they let the first expedition through the can't stop the second expedition. if they don't like it through they are fighting unarmed so they fire and they start the war but just when somebody five years on your flag all these concerns of let them go fall by the wayside. think of united states after september 11th corporal part. no one cares anymore. the entire north is unified behind lincoln and the crusade to unify the country but it won't last. it gives lincoln at least a year or maybe to when he can operate unimpeded and launch the war effort. without that unity it's impossible to imagine how the north wins the civil war in fact ensure there is not even a civil war. it is a pretty good chance the self goes on its own. so if you want impacted sioux word is the president of the united states as he should have
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been, be honest after peaking in and to be president of the united states -- >> host: [inaudible] >> guest: in terms of marriage or achievement t want to term governor or senator or the guy that no one has ever heard of? so come if he's president of the united states than the united states are not united anymore they are split but abraham lincoln is willing to push it in the fire. >> host: the odd man out made the of the decision which led to the result that we had and he recognizes this. >> guest: he says what might be the most extraordinary dhaka had ever received and it's a memo that he essentially says you're not doing anything. you should let me be the shadow president and it's quite explicit. lincoln says many things can be done but if something must be
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done i must do it. so he is a genius at lots of things. one of the things he is gifted that is what you might call personnel management. he knows he's talented, he's a patriot and so instead of leading this as a feud that shatter the cabinet in a skilled politician he is able to reconciliate him and in a few months stewardesses to his wife and incredibly glad the country as abraham lincoln to lead us through this crisis because he is the best of us. so again, without that almost supernatural the to work with almost anybody put anyone, edward stanton who became secretary defense with various generals it's difficult to see how the north prosecutes the war because this wasn't a unified society, it had to be managed constantly in this endeavor.
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>> host: let's look at the third president who is also an extreme this is what were wilson. does it turn out as happily as abraham lincoln? >> guest: not even close. >> host: why is he extreme? >> guest: willson is the least experienced in terms of time and politics, the least experienced person ever elected president of the united states. at the time he becomes president his total political experience is about one and a half times since he's spent a day in the legislature in the lower office, governor of badgers he becomes president he's an academic like me a political scientist. i suppose that should make me more favorably disposed to it, but academic research on politics isn't the same as doing politics. it's not the same thing because of what you learned the value experience too much it's about
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moving you at the learning curve but the other thing it's not just what it gives you the candidate, the potential leader not just the experience with the evaluation. its other people in the arena that will get you when you have power and when you are under pressure and when the cameras are off so we see what you are like when you are not trying to impress the public. we know that power has an effect on people and they're usually pathological fact. power changes of people believe so if you want to know what someone is like when they have power you have to give it to them and reserve than not for a day or week or month that for years to see what they are really like. no one had a chance to do this with woodrow wilson he had been president at princeton and
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people found this not to be a happy experience. his reforms were valuable. he created that federal reserve system. but over time at princeton his presidency collapsed because of his frigidity and absolute refusal to negotiate with anyone that disagree with him over even small things. the problem is the information you need when you were judging someone is going to be a group leader it's not a gossip, it's what are they like when the doors are closed and the lights are off under pressure? that information doesn't flow well across the organizational boundaries within the company. you gossip within politics but how many politicians know very much about what -- what do they know what she's really like? i don't know, i've never met her. i know a little the president of
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harvard but not her. so, the princeton experience and the evaluation at princeton now as historians looking back we can say that tells a lot about what is and to happen in the presidency but at that time they didn't have access to that information. it didn't get killed and you wouldn't expect it to get out. >> host: you have a great quote from one of the princeton pierce. he grew arrogant and sarcastic and he spoke to me in a way that i wouldn't have tolerated from anyone else >> guest: he manages to be elected president in 1912 and a famously complex election because this time the republican party split it's almost a mirror
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image of lincoln split in 1960 wilson wins in 1912 because the republicans have split into. so, tell us about the episode in his administration that you want to focus on. >> guest: and focus on the treaty of versailles and the senate struggled over whether or not the united states should ratify the treaty of riverside. this is in the second term it ends the first cold war and the treaty does more than and the war is designed to create a postwar settlement, some sort of a world that will be more stable and will never leave ever again and of course we know they failed but with the treaty does is create a league of nations so it is in fact wilsons brainchild. none of the other negotiators at the oversight peace conference had an interest but will send did. but it's not truly productive
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will send. to give an example to other people that supported the league, the roosevelt and william howard taft, wilson's opponent in the election the two recent republicans in the united states, so he was well within the mainstream of american foreign policy. they believed in it but he's the negotiator and he gets part of the treaty and then he comes back to the united states and the senate has to ratify them. 96 members and 80 of them have said that the one the united states to ratify the treaty and join the league of nations under some conditions. eda is well more than enough. >> host: the need two-thirds. >> guest: ratification isn't hard in this scenario. you have 80. you need 64, 65. okay. the problem is the senate republicans led by henry cabot lodge who wilson has known for many decades they don't want to
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give him a triumph. some of them are just opposed to joining the treaty. they have reservations about the united states sovereignty many of them were willing to join the treaty with conditions attached to it and these reservations are not huge. the british for example say they have no problems in the reservation of the treaty it's not an obstacle for them. >> guest: they shouldn't be deal breakers. very few people view them as deal breakers that lodge says wilson, he might have set reservations in principle that he will never accept reservations that i attach, and wilson in a private meeting is told we can get the ratification easily if you accept the launch reservations and will send says i will never accept the reservations. anyone who opposes me i will crash. that is his statement.
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he's the leader of the republican party and the senate and foreign policy. it is pretty closely split. i believe there's a democratic majority but it's not enough to ratify. at this point the key is the 65i think. and that you cannot do just with democrats. you have to have lodge. he says i will vote yes with the reservations attached. and wilson all he has to do to get the treaty passed is read the reservation. >> host: do think he would have? >> guest: yes, as a matter of fact he voted for the treaty when it went up for reservations
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what happened is wilson goes out on a speaking tour in the country to try to persuade the country of a public storm that would overwhelm the republican opposition and on a speaking tour he has a stroke and is incapacitated but he was pretty far into the tour by the time it hit him. it wasn't generating any public pressure on lodge 70 come back and bring the treaty that with no reservations. all the republicans vote no and it doesn't pass. then they bring it up with the launch reservations. lodge votes yes, it deutsch and the republicans and democrats vote yes and wilson sent to members of the cabinet on to the floor of the senate to personally buttonhole senators and say the leader is ordering you to impose the treaty with reservations and the treaty just barely fails by a handful of votes, four or five at the most so anyone else present at the
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united states at this time it passed. if wilson died of a stroke instead of just being crippled, the treaty passes. willson stopped his own creation, he strangled his on beebee and the cradle and if you think yeah jefferson was flexible, politicians are flexible it's one of the defining characteristics as a politician. he is at a level that goes beyond -- it goes beyond normal rigidity, it's pathological rigidity that crippled him throughout his entire life. if he had been in politics before he became president everyone would have known he was like that and he would never have gotten the presidency because of the characters he won the presidency were unable to accept the victory because you're opponent's name is partially attached to it isn't one you want. >> host: do have a wonderful quote from the senator from connecticut.
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we can always depend on mr. wilson. >> guest: only willson could have stopped that treaty and did >> host: willson having a stroke means he couldn't serve time but running history if he didn't have a stroke he could potentially have gotten the nomination for a third time and then fought an election on this issue. he wasn't hoping he would get a third nomination that this was impossible. he did want to fight an election in 1920 but even if he had won it because the break up in the
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two-year cycle he couldn't have defeated enough republican senators to swing the ratification until i believe 1924 study of 1920, 1922 we would have three elections cycles on the one issue of the treaty. it's inconceivable he could have done this. >> host: i urge people to buy this book to see what this says about metal chamberlain and winston churchill as british prime ministers, and you also talk about some people in business but when you are something that, you see the extremes and we talk about the president's, won a very good
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choice, we were lucky he got through the process and in your view a bad choice but you say it's hard for an organization to know whether you are looking at a good extremely that extreme and then you have this wonderful line. what advice do you give boaters that participate in the organization of american politics or board members of companies who are looking for leaders? should they ever look at extremes? why should they run that risk? >> guest: i am not opposed to gambling i just think you should always gambled with your eyes open and know you are taking a gamble where as we said before there are more ways to fail. most extremes' feel if your organization as good they are not what you're looking for and you want to look for the right
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people. so how desperate are you? are you on a point of bankruptcy? you can't go more than bankrupt so an extreme leader, steve jobs for example might be the one person who can save your company. if you are the other voter and you think the united states is in crisis and the system has failed and the people who are choosing normally just cannot get us out as in 1968 they clearly had the system isn't working any more. it's time to break and you can't get a worse outcome and total failure percival war. second, there are things you can do if you choose. you can reshape the job around them. you simply never have an outside ceo that is also the chairman of the board of directors. >> host: by outside being extreme? >> guest: it doesn't flow from one organization to another so
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it might be unfiltered. unfiltered leaders are likely to be extreme. the of skill level lot when you bring in an unfiltered person. but i think the hardest one is so extreme leaders succeed when they do what no one else would do and what everyone else tells them not to do and it's the right idea and if they fail when they do what no one else would do and it's the wrong idea so the knicks defeat successful leaders are the ones who are somehow able to stick to their guns when they are right and change course when they are wrong but when everyone else always thinks they are wrong. i think the key -- if you look at lincoln and another and put in an extraordinary scientist, a great man, but differentiated them from all of the people looked at who were successful but a suspect lucky that they
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were right but in a different situation they would have been wrong it's not just that the of the sort of supreme self-confidence to resist the advice of everyone else in the go ahead when everyone else is telling them they are wrong. but also have the extraordinary level required to keep listening to people even as the push ahead. so acknowledge the possibility they were wrong in a profound sense not just on the surface a sense but if i'm wrong with is that mean, what is the evidence that would prove i'm wrong and how does that choose i'm on so because i was right all the time they could change course as lincoln did many times in the civil war and during his career >> host: it's a weird combination. >> guest: these are characteristics. >> host: wrapping it up here so quickly we just a presidential election. now i guess barack obama was the
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president already so by definition he's been filtered for four years. but mitt romney, was he extreme or filtered? >> guest: without a doubt. one term as the governor of massachusetts is in the historical perspective not a lot of time in politics. in fact, had he won the presidency, he would have been second only to wilson and grover cleveland depending on how you look at it and the shortness of his political career before he became president. >> host: okay. well listen this is a fascinating book. the looks at a lot of stuff you know but was used that you don't know about that. >> guest: thank you very much. >> that was "after words," book tv signature program which authors of the latest fiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policy makers, but as leaders and others familiar with their
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material. "after words" there's every weekend on book tv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 p.m. on monday. you can also watch "after words" on line. go to booktv.org and click on "after words" and the book tv series and topics list on the upper right side of the page.

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